If the Colorado Rockies are going to be competitive in 2013, then their best player has to be their best player. Keep in mind that when I say competitive, I’m not talking about contending for a playoff spot. By competitive I mean winning 75 games and maybe approaching .500. The one player that has to lead the way is Troy Tulowitzki.
The biggest hurdle for Tulowitzki is staying healthy; he missed most of 2012 with a hip injury and has been plagued by nagging injuries most of his career. It’s a delicate balance because he suffers those injuries because of the way he plays, all out all the time. That’s one of the things that makes Tulowitzki great and if he tries to play any other way, then he’s not going to be the same player.
When healthy, Tulowitzki is still one of the best players in baseball and easily the best shortstop in the game. He is that rare combination of an outstanding defensive shortstop and a guy who can hit for power. If the Rockies are going to do anything this season, then Tulowitzki has to return to his pre-injury form. While his on the field skills are great, the Rockies may have missed his leadership more than anything. No one hates losing more than Tulowitzki, and he lets it be known. That’s a turn off for some but, in my view, there’s not enough people in the world of sports like Tulowitzki. As a fan, I want the players on my favorite team to care and I want them to be angry when things don’t go right. Maybe he’s a little to demonstrative at times, but give me that as opposed to the guy who looks like he’s happy just collecting a check.
The Rockies are not going to contend for a division title or a playoff spot, but they can surprise some people. They should be able to score some runs with their lineup and they do appear to be healthier in their starting rotation. However the success of the Rockies in 2013 and Tulowitzki’s health are linked. If he is on the field for 150-155 games, then it will be a decent season by Rockies standards. If injuries bite him again, then the countdown to Denver Broncos training camp can begin.
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